Paternity Leave – Ordinary and Additional

Site updated on February 17, 2020

Since April 2003, certain Employees have been entitled to up to two weeks’ paid paternity leave. This is known as Statutory Paternity Pay.

You may also qualify to take some more time off by sharing the leave with your Partner, this is called Shared Parental Leave – see that section for more details..

Start and end dates

Paternity Leave can’t start before the birth. It must end within 56 days (8 weeks) of the birth.

You must give your employer at least 28 days’ notice if you want to change your start date.

You don’t have to give an actual date when you want to take leave (eg 1 February). Instead you can give the general time (eg the day of the birth or 1 week after the birth).

Who Qualifies for this?

You need to have 26 weeks’ service as an employee with the same employer (by the 15th week before the Expected week of childbirth) to qualify.

You need to provide evidence that you have an “enduring” relationship with the mother and that you are prepared to care for the child. This information is contained on a form, called an SC 3 form, claiming Statutory Paternity Pay, which should be available from your Employer; it is also available on the Internet .

If you have any problems claiming this, contact our Advice Line.

This right to Paternity Leave is not restricted to the child’s father, and is available to women. If you have a relationship with the Mother (and you are not a family member),and you undertake to care for the child, you could qualify.

Ordinary Paternity Leave

You could take either 1 or 2 weeks, but you must take the leave in one go.  Paternity leave cannot be taken as single days. If your partner has a multiple birth (eg twins) the amount of leave is the same.

It is paid at £151.20 per week (April 2020), not your normal rate of pay unless your Employer agrees to top it up – so check any handbook terms.

You must take your leave in one go; it cannot be taken as separate weeks or days. A week is the same amount of days that you normally work in a week – eg if you only work on Mondays and Tuesdays a week is 2 days.

You could get more leave or higher payments if your employer has a company paternity scheme – but they can’t offer you less than the statutory amounts.


Additional Paternity leave has been replaced by the right to request Shared Parental Leave, so is no longer available.

For more information on any of these topics, call our Advice Line .

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